Resident Officer

The DeKalb Police Department announces the implementation of an enhanced Resident Officer Program (ROP) within the city. Successful in other communities such as Elgin and Oak Park, this will be a pilot program for DeKalb. The Resident Officer Program of DeKalb was created to improve the quality of life within individual neighborhoods in the City of DeKalb by assigning an officer to reside in designated neighborhoods and directly partnering with residents to find solutions to neighborhood problems.

First ROP
The first area to be identified and staffed by the resident officer program was the public housing neighborhood located in the 800 block of North 14th Street, beginning in November 2004. An officer has resided at that location ever since, being equipped with a take-home marked squad car and given the responsibility of assisting with neighborhood issues both within the housing complex and the adjacent Pleasant Street neighborhood. He has performed these duties while remaining on a traditional patrol shift. An additional bilingual officer has assisted with neighborhood meetings in the area as well.

The Housing Authority and neighborhood residents have reported being very satisfied with their efforts. Subsequent to the officers’ intervention, the quality of life within the neighborhood has improved as public safety issues have been addressed.

Underlying Problems
Though crime is still of primary concern, there are many issues and factors that contribute to the underlying root of problems in neighborhoods. Seldom will a short-term solution be the answer to ongoing complex problems. Enabling residents of a neighborhood to become problem solvers is necessary for long-term neighborhood improvements.

The enhanced ROP program places a police officer in a city-owned home directly into a neighborhood. The home, one in need of rehabilitation, gets those improvements made immediately, adding value to the neighborhood and improving its aesthetic qualities. The ROP officer will not only be a point of contact for policing problems, but will also be able to reach out to other agencies in an attempt to solve whatever problems may be facing the neighborhood.


Objectives of the ROP officer include:
  • Acting as a liaison with other city departments and social service agencies
  • Assisting residents in the development of neighborhood initiatives and organizations
  • Empowering residents to work together to improve their neighborhood, and participating in youth activities by building relationships through direct involvement, education, and mentoring
  • Identifying and prioritizing crime, community, and quality of life issues within the neighborhood
  • Serving as the neighborhood’s police officer through the development of close working relationships
  • Working with neighborhood groups to solve identified problems
Current Officer
Officer Burke, a 6 year veteran of the DeKalb Police Department, is the officer assigned to the Resident Officer Program. He moved into his new home, in the 600 block of North 11th Street, on  September 28, 2012. The boundaries for the officer’s service area are the Union Pacific Railroad to the south, 4th Street/ Sycamore Road to the west, East Dresser Street to the north, and 14th Street to the east. He looks forward to addressing neighborhood concerns with his new friends and neighbors.